As a sign of the U.S. government’s ongoing commitment to combating human trafficking, the State Department released its 20th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report, or TIP Report on June 25.
Speaking at the release of the TIP Report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that human trafficking, which includes both forced labor and sex trafficking, continues around the world:
“There are 25 million adults and children suffering from labor and sex trafficking worldwide. That desecration of the inherent value and immeasurable worth of human beings, each of us created in the image of God, makes human trafficking a truly wicked act.”
Last year, President Donald Trump restricted certain types of assistance to 15 governments that were ranked Tier 3, the worst possible designation, in the 2019 TIP Report. In January of this year, the President noted that the United States had authorized nearly half a billion dollars to fight against sex and labor trafficking.
Secretary Pompeo highlighted several success stories recorded in the 2020 TIP Report:
“Twenty-two countries received an upgrade this year, 13 of them from Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The TIP Report also calls out a group of nations whose state-sponsored forced labor have earned them Tier 3 designations. Among them is China, where the Chinese Communist Party and its state-owned enterprises often force citizens to work in horrendous conditions on China’s global development strategy known as Belt and Road, and where Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are subjected to widespread forced labor in Xinjiang and beyond.
In Cuba, the Castro regime’s number one source of income is the medical mission program. There are up to 50,000 Cuban medical professionals serving in 60 countries around the world. Several of these doctors have defected and reported being coerced and forced to work in these programs. Many countries allow the medical mission to operate despite clear indicators of human trafficking such as passport confiscation, hidden contracts, and direct payments to the regime and not the doctors.
“We take government-sponsored trafficking very seriously,” declared Secretary Pompeo. “It’s a perversion of any government’s reason for existence: to protect rights, not crush them. The United States will not stand by as any government with a policy or pattern of human trafficking subjects its own citizens to this kind of oppression.”